Ekurhuleni is set to get 12 new fleet ambulances and a disaster bus to improve emergency response times.
Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor Mondli Gungubele dispatched the new ambulances and disaster bus on Friday to add on the city's emergency response vehicles on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To ensure that the material resources are matched by human resources, Mayor Gungubele has also dispatched 176 newly appointed fire fighters/emergency care practitioners to their posts.
He announced that the City will soon open the Zonkizizwe and Comercia Fire Stations in Tembisa, which will be staff ed with 56 emergency care practitioners each, from the new appointees.
The Palm Ridge, Wadeville, Tsakane, Bedfordview and Nigel Fire Stations will also be allocated some of the new recruits to boost capacity.
According to the Mayor, the number of emergency calls responded to within five minutes of dispatching an ambulance increased from 0% to 9.43% in the last six months. Calls responded to within 15 minutes increased from 78% to 80%, while the remainder of all calls are attended to within less than an hour.
"The number of ambulances on the road 24/7 will now be increased to an average of 74, which means these response times will be reduced even further. We are also closing the gap in terms of manning levels at our fire stations, and the Fire and Rescue Crew on any shift is going to increase to four members while the standard is five," Mayor Gungubele said.
A total of 170 new permanent staff members were appointed from the City's 400-strong Fire Brigade Reserve Force, an entry into the field of emergency care for unemployed Fire Fighter 2 or Basic Ambulance course graduates.